Kiran Asher – Women are to Gender what Trees are to Forests

Gender and forests are re-emerging as central in the global sustainable development agenda. CIFOR and other forestry and environmental research organizations attempting to integrate “gender” into their research can learn from 40 years of scholarship on gender, development, and environment. Just as a collection of trees does not make a forest, “gender” is not simply a collection of women, or relations between women and men. Extensive analytical and empirical work on “gender” reveals that there is much heterogeneity among women, and that their social positions depend not just on their relations with men but are interconnected with their class, ethnicity, geographic location, and age. That is, understanding the gendered dynamics of forest management and/or sustainable development requires acknowledging the heterogeneity of gender relations and the fact that they are not just a product of local factors but are also shaped by broader political and economic forces.

For watching the previous Science@10 presentation, please go to the CIFOR TV here